All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesI give All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven a big thumbs up. I went on a road trip for work last week and listened to this YA fictional novel and found it to be both touching and heartfelt.

The story begins when two high school seniors, Violet and Finch, meet on the roof of the bell tower at their school, both contemplating what it would mean to jump off. Violet has recently lost her sister in a car crash and Finch has always struggled to find where he fits into the world and why any of it matters. On top of the bell tower they both feel lost.

Through this story they save each other and their journey is really sweet. Violet learns how to live again and Finch learns to be comfortable as his wild and charming self. Both characters had been through so much and I was really interested to see how they each handled their grief.

This book is really good and I recommend it! One fun fact about the audiobook; the male narrator sounded a lot like John Mulaney, the comedian, which was a nice added bonus.

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy NelsonA few pages into I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, I was feeling a bit skeptical about the story. While my attention was instantly caught by all of the imagery and colorful descriptions, I wasn’t sure how an entire book like that would go. I had no reason to worry though because this story was pretty fantastic.

Through I’ll Give You The Sun, a YA novel focused on twin siblings, we witness the very complex relationship between Jude and Noah. While the pair is obviously deeply connected, the siblings simultaneously harbor aggressively competitive feelings that cause them to do awful things to one another. The book switches between loving interactions and vicious fights, an interesting aspect that kept me completely enthralled.

The heartfelt characters and their wild imaginations were what really pulled me into the story. Their stories made me feel for them, for their pain, their passion, their lies and their loves.

Are YA novels only for teens? Definitely not when it comes to I’ll Give You The Sun.